When bad runs go good

Sunday had the makings of a spectacular disaster.

I was tired, I was cranky, I did NOT want to go run. My left knee hurt, my left calf hurt, my right foot had both heel and toe issues and I was just not feeling the run-love.

I sat on the couch all “I don’t want to run. But its Sunday, I have to run. But I REALLY don’t want to. But i’ll regret it if I don’t. GO RUN.”

Instead I took the Gus out, and then changed my outfit because you know, stalling… and finally headed out.

I almost didn’t take my Garmin. I didn’t want to know how slow and hideous my pace was gonna be. But I couldn’t remember exactly how far my loop was, and I needed 12 miles, so instead I promised myself if the pace was truly embarrassing that i’d just delete it.

Sure, I have a half-marathon in two weeks and so I should have been trying for a decent run. But it was warm and slimy-humid and with the list of grievances listed above, I knew I had to just let it go and run easy.

Well, not EASY, but slow. Because nothing was going to be easy.

And as I chugged along I tried to change my brain. I stopped to photograph a random stuffed animal.

And I stopped at a waterfall for a minute. And I kept an eye out for critters and commiserated with some other runners about how hideously humid it was.

It was around mile 8 that things started to turn and my pace got better. I want to blame Sasquatch. (This must be freaky at night!)

But really, it was the ‘incredibly fit couple’ i’d seen a minute before. There they were, dressed in black and muscles, strapping their child into a stroller. They gave a very cheerful hello as I went by. And then, I could hear them behind me. And I was all “Yeah, no. I am NOT getting passed by a stroller on a Sunday run.” LOL

So I surged a bit and it felt good. And I shimmied up the giant hill at mile 9. And I kept going.

At mile 11 I had reached my house and debated going in for water and then doing 2 more miles, or just toughing it out for 1. And was afraid if I went inside i’d stay there. So 12 it was going to be.

And as I headed up my loop and saw the row of sprinklers on, I did a happy dance of joy. With my arms raised and a smile on my face I went straight through. And got soaked. Yay!!

And it made me happy enough that I speed up, and had my fastest mile of the day. A 9:00. I ended a hair under 10/mi overall, so I decided it was save-worthy.

Because it truly wasn’t that slow – it just felt it after how great i’ve been running lately. I have to remember that its summer, and that it means i’m going to get a smidge slower.

Which is okay, because a 2:00 Disney POT and a 2:03 Disney POT will put me in the same corral. So I don’t really need to kill myself on course in Bristol in oh, less than two weeks, if I don’t want to. We’ll wait and see what the weather brings.

For now, i’ll just trudge along and hope for sprinklers!

PS. How awesome is my new shirt? I just can’t resist anything hummingbird.

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Slimy yet satisfying

This humidity can go away any time it wants to…it’s seriously vampiring my speed. It sucks!

I did have one nice zippy run this week. Wednesday morning was delightfully dry and I was about a minute per mile faster than I had been in a couple weeks. Sweet!! 

 Then, the wall of gross came back…and my slothish paces returned. 

Friday morning was bad…95% humidity. You know, where it’s not “raining” it’s just wet.  And you dig deep the last half mile just to balance out your average pace to something not embarrassing. Lol 

 
But Sunday…Sunday was a challenge. With Anchor Down looming large I knew I needed a good solid training run. Something to simulate the race and let me practice my hydration. 

I mapped out a 2.4 mile loop (anchor will be a 2.45 mile one) and planned for 3 hours, with something between 16-18 miles total. Depending on how much I ended up walking. 

It was gloomy and grey and HUMID so I wore my brightest socks, which oddly matched the flowers I passed near the end of each loop.  

 

I also tried an experiment with my watch. I turned off auto lap. I decided the easiest way mentally to not let what I knew would be a slow pace bother me mentally, was to not be reminded every mile of how bad it was.  Plus it would help me decide if I do the same during the race. I mean, will I get annoyed by the alerts by mile 40? Or will I welcome them as a reminder of accomplishment.  Hmmm…

So I stashed my supplies (electrolyte tablets, gels and a water bottle) in my “aid station tree” behind my house and headed off. 

All in all the loop plan went well. By the fifth time around I was starting to get a little mind-weary of the route. But I needed that practice. 

And having access to water (and a rest room) every mile should I need it, is an awesome thing on a warm sticky day. 

Somehow, and likely due to the magic of the electrolytes, water (seriously – I drank way more than normal) and a well timed gel, I ran the whole 3 hours and 2 minutes.  I didn’t expect to. I figured I’d get in 15 miles and then start walking some. But I didn’t. Yay!

Oh, and the last two miles the sprinklers came on. Oh yeah, needed that. 🙂 

In total, I got in 17.01 miles at a 10:44/mi pace. And oddly, I’m quite happy with it. Because it wasnt about the pace, it was about the training experience. 

And when I got home and my hubby asked “how was the run” I replied… Slimy yet satisfying. 🙂

Happy Tuesday my friends, and happy running!